Change and transition management is critical for managing projects. This online lesson explains the change management process for cross-functional projects and project teams. This includes supply chain projects, healthcare projects, and information technology. Effectively managing the change from projects will help project teams be more successful.
- The final pillar of the direct project leadership framework, is to transition the people. In this video, I'll explain what I mean by transition. And I'll give you the tools to manage your own transitions successfully. Change is something that happens to you and around you. Transition is how you and everyone else respond to it. That's an important distinction for a project leader to understand. Because while it's important to make sure that a project delivers a working solution, it is just as important to ensure that the people who need to use it are willing and able to make it work.
Let me illustrate this point with a story about transition from the team at H+ Sport. A few years ago, H+ ran a project to upgrade the software for their customer service team. Everyone was excited to be moving away from the old-fashioned green-screen display to a fancy new Windows based interface. After months of planning and preparation, the whole project went off without a hitch. The IT team ran the update over the weekend, and the system was ready to go before the first customer service rep showed up in the morning.
But it turned out there was one major problem. Even though it was the same program, the interface was very different. So different that the customer services reps didn't know how to find the information and enter data in the new system. No one on the team had thought about training for the customer service folks. The system change was executed flawlessly, but they failed miserably with their transition. This idea of separating the change from the transition comes from the work of William Bridges.
Bridges takes the idea much further, explaining how people's emotions come into play anytime that they need to respond to a change. He describes it as a three-stage process. First, people need to let go of the way they're used to things being. Then they go through a period of uncertainty, called the Neutral Zone. And eventually they become comfortable with the change, and move into a new beginning. You can use these insights to your advantage as a project leader.
Take five minutes to try it now. Think about all of the people who will be affected by the changes that your project creates. How will the transition be for them? And how important is their transition to the success of your project? What things could you or your team do, to improve the transition? Remember that it's natural for people to go through a transition in three stages. So make sure people have an opportunity to let go of the old way, navigate through the neutral zone, and embark on a new beginning.
Using this approach to manage transitions will help you to be a better leader and make your projects more successful.
- Name who is responsible for approving the resources for the project.
- Recall what the spine of a fishbone diagram represents.
- List characteristics of the environment.
- Identify the tools used for mapping processes.
- Recognize what needs to be captured on the action item list.
- Recall what project metrics should be related to.